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Alter Ego #1 Summer 1999 (magazine review).

May 28, 2021 | By | Reply More

I said I managed to acquire two Number Ones and Alter Ego # 1 is the other one and me not believing my luck. Like a lot of their early publications, you read up to half-way and then turn the magazine upside down and read the other section from the other side.

This is also volume 3, as the second volume ran for 5 issues in ‘Comic Book Artist’ as a trail run and convinced editor Roy Thomas that ‘Alter Ego’ should go full on its own and covering this favourite subject, the Silver Age of comics. So let’s hit the highlights.

The starting point is the roasting of Stan Lee, something that only happens in America and a little confusing to us Brits. Not that you Americans turn cannibal but having a meal and then gently ribbing from other people in the industry of its guest of honour. At this Chicago Comicon, Stan follows in the wake of Julius Schwartz in 1993 and Harlen Ellison in 1994. At least this way, we get to see a transcript and find even those giving accounts are also ribbed. Saying that, I never thought Sal Buscema was a woman but then many people thought Nicola Cuti was, so what do I know.

Roy Thomas’ look at his second generation super-team series ‘Infinity, Inc.’ does illustrate a problem of having too many characters in one group when it might have made more sense to have two teams. Before anyone compares to the Legion Of Super-Heroes, they are more of a battalion in the future but even they divide into smaller teams to deal with various threats. Then again, considering I also read Thomas’ ‘All-Star Squadron’ and ‘Infinity Inc.’ it does indicate there is an appeal for large teams of just characters interacting.

Turning the magazine up the other way we have an interview with comicbook artist Irwin Hasen (1918-2015) from 1998. Deep in the Golden Age, at National Periodicals/DC Comics, he co-created Wildcat and worked on the Alan Scott Green Lantern stories and Wonder Woman and many covers.

Roy Thomas looks at some scripts of the early Wonder Woman by her creator Doctor William Moulton Marston that were previously lost then found and a discussion on his sensibilities.

Mr. Monster was already in from the start and reprints an article by Stan Lee in the Golden Age on how to write comics.

Something I didn’t know was that this was the 60th issue of the Fawcett Collectors Of America (FCA) and Marc Swayze discussing his career at Fawcett and the problems of giving teeth to female characters, although this appears to be more having a white than black inside an open mouth.

Finally, from 1964, where the original Captain Marvel or rather Capitáo Marvel was still having fresh adventures in Brazil, he teams up with the original Human Torch against a villain called The Cobra.

Objectively, ‘Alter Ego’ as its own magazine landed with most of its kinks already sorted out being part of ‘Comic Book Artist’ and then expanded out. Even so, it does fulfil one of my ambitions to see what was in its earliest issue.

GF Willmetts

May 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 5.95 (US), although it did cost me £15.00 (UK) to get a copy. ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get a digital copy for $ 4.99 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and Alter Ego 01 : TwoMorrows Publishing, The Future of Comics and LEGO™ Publications

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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